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  • IPA(key): /haʊnd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aʊnd

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English hound, from Old English hund, from Proto-Germanic *hundaz (confer West Frisian hûn, Dutch hond, Luxembourgish Hond, German Hund, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian hund), from pre-Germanic *ḱuntós (compare Latvian sùnt-ene (big dog)), enlargement of Proto-Indo-European *ḱwṓ (dog) (compare Welsh cwn (dogs), Tocharian B ku, Lithuanian šuõ, Armenian շուն (šun)). Doublet of canine.

A basset hound.


hound (plural hounds)

  1. A dog, particularly a breed with a good sense of smell developed for hunting other animals.
  2. Any canine animal.
  3. (by extension) Someone who seeks something.
    • 1996, Marc Parent, Turning Stones, Harcourt Brace & Company, →ISBN, page 93,
      On the way out of the building I was asked for my autograph. If I'd known who the signature hound thought I was, I would've signed appropriately.
    • 2004, Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper, Simon & Schuster, →ISBN, page 483,
      I still do not know if he's taken on this case because he's a glory hound, because he wants the PR, or if he simply wanted to help Anna.
  4. (by extension) A male who constantly seeks the company of desirable women.
    • 1915, Norman Duncan, "A Certain Recipient", in Harper's, volume 122, number 787, December 1915, republished in Harper's Monthly Magazine, volume 122, December 1915 to May 1916, page 108,
      "Are you alone, Goodson? [] I thought, perhaps, that the [] young woman, Goodson, who supplanted Mary?" []
      "She had a good many successors, John."
      "You are such a hound, in that respect, Goodson," said Claywell, "and you have always been such a hound, that it astounds me to find you—unaccompanied."
  5. A despicable person.
    • Shakespeare
      Boy! false hound!
    • Elizabeth Walter, Come and Get Me
      'You blackmailing hound,' the parrot said distinctly, in what Hodges recognized as General Derby's voice. Anstruther turned pale.
  6. A houndfish.
Usage notesEdit
  • In more recent times, hound has been replaced by Modern English dog but the sense remains the same.
Derived termsEdit
Terms derived from hound

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English hounden, from the noun (see above).


hound (third-person singular simple present hounds, present participle hounding, simple past and past participle hounded)

  1. (transitive) To persistently harass.
    He hounded me for weeks, but I was simply unable to pay back his loan.
    • 2019 April 11, Marcel Theroux, “Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan review – intelligent mischief”, in The Guardian[1]:
      More pertinently for the plot, another marked difference from history is that the United Kingdom of this 1982 is precociously computerised. Instead of having been hounded to death for his homosexuality, the scientist Alan Turing is thriving and lauded.
  2. (transitive) To urge on against; to set (dogs) upon in hunting.
    • 1897, Andrew Lang, The Book of Dreams and Ghosts (page 162)
      We both thought we saw what had the appearance to be a fox, and hounded the dogs at it, but they would not pursue it.

Etymology 3Edit

From Middle English hownde, hount, houn, probably from Old Norse húnn, from Proto-Germanic *hūnaz.


hound (plural hounds)

  1. (nautical, in the plural) Projections at the masthead, serving as a support for the trestletrees and top to rest on.
  2. A side bar used to strengthen portions of the running gear of a vehicle.


Middle EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit


From Old English hund, from Proto-Germanic *hundaz.



hound (plural houndes or hounden)

  1. dog, hound (The canid Canis lupus familiaris)
    1. A pet dog; a dog kept for companionship.
    2. A hunting or sporting dog; a hound.
    3. Specifically a male or fully-grown dog.
  2. A strong term of abuse, especially used against enemies of one's religion
  3. (rare) A heraldic portrayal of a dog.
  4. (rare) The forces of evil; the infernal army.
  5. (rare) Sirius (star)

Usage notesEdit

The general word for "dog" is hound; dogge is vaguely derogatory and has a sense of "mongrel" or "cur".

Derived termsEdit